Monday, October 9, 2017

Smith makes 43 saves to lift Flames over Ducks 2-0

 Mike Smith made 43 saves and the Calgary Flames ended a 25-game skid at Honda Center with a 2-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
Calgary got goals from Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund. It hadn't won at Anaheim since Jan. 19, 2004.
The game was scoreless until late in the second period, when Kevin Bieksa's cross-checking minor gave the Flames their fourth power play. Calgary was unsuccessful until Johnny Gaudreau fired a cross-ice pass from above the far-side circle to Kris Versteeg on the far post. Versteeg's initial shot was blocked by Cam Fowler, but the puck rebounded to Monahan, who beats a leaning John Gibson.
The Ducks carried the play in the third. Midway through the period, Ryan Getzlaf lost a battle along the boards. The puck got through to Michael Frolik, who skated it up the ice. Frolik sent a pass through the legs of Brandon Montour to an on-rushing Backlund, who beat Gibson top-shelf.
Smith survived a mad scramble in the final minute to preserve his 34th career shutout and first with Calgary.
NOTES: Ducks F Ondrej Kase left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. ... Ryan Getzlaf and Jaycob Megna made their season debuts for Anaheim. ... Calgary F Jaromir Jagr did not dress for a third game after signing with the Flames. ... The game took place as planned despite the wildfires in surrounding areas.
UP NEXT
Flames: Visit Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Ducks: Host New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

Ehlers scores hat trick, adds assist as Jets beat Oilers

Nikolaj Ehlers hit the scoresheet for the first time this season in dramatic fashion on Monday night.
Ehlers had a hat trick and an assist and the Winnipeg Jets captured their first win of the season by beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2.
"We all knew what we needed to do and are capable of," Ehlers said. "We didn't do that the first two games, but we showed it tonight. We played good tonight, simple and fast. We were able to find the holes. We just have to be able to find a way to keep that going."
Mark Scheifele and Dmitry Kulikov also scored for the Jets.
Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal each for the Oilers, who have lost two straight.
"We were giving up breakaways and odd-man rushes. When you do that you're going to end up on the losing side more often than not," said Oilers forward Milan Lucic. "We get a couple of days to regroup and go over what we need to do better, because the last two games, the chances that we've given up, is definitely unacceptable."
Connor Hellebuyck picked up the win in net by making 37 saves. Cam Talbot turned away 38-of-43 shots in defeat.
Edmonton outshot Winnipeg 12-3 in the first nine minutes of the game, but it was the Jets who struck first as Scheifele corralled a shot in front of the net and then sent it past Talbot for his third of the season.
The Jets made it 2-0 before the first was over as Kulikov was given far too much space and was able to beat Talbot with a hard wrist shot.
The Oilers finally got on the board 13 minutes into the second period as Connor McDavid fought for the puck behind the net and then fed it in front to Draisaitl, who sent it past Hellebuyck.
Edmonton tied the game just 40 seconds later as Nugent-Hopkins split the defense to make it 2-2.
Winnipeg surged back in front three minutes later with a pair of goals by Ehlers, who picked the top corner on a 3-on-2 break and then made it 4-2 just over a minute after that by converting a perfect feed from Blake Wheelerinto a wide-open net.
Scheifele worked hard to get Ehlers the natural hat trick, and did so with a perfect power-play pass with 1:14 remaining in the third period.
NOTES: This is the first of three meetings this season between the Oilers and Jets. Last season, the Oilers swept the three-game set. ... Oilers winger Anton Slepyshev made his debut after suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of training camp.
UP NEXT
Jets: Play at Vancouver on Thursday.
Oilers: Host Ottawa on Saturday.

Point scores in OT, Lightning beat Capitals 4-3

The Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the NHL's top scorer and rallied from a two-goal deficit for a quality win.
Brayden Point scored on a power play in overtime, Tampa Bay held high-scoring Alex Ovechkin pointless and the Lightning beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Monday night.
"The team that deserved to win won tonight," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "We were a determined group."
Point redirected Nikita Kucherov's shot at 3:08 that came after the Capitals were assessed a too many men on the ice penalty.
Ovechkin entered with seven goals in Washington's first two games this season.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Alex KillornChris Kunitz and Kucherov, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves.
T.J. Oshie had two goals and an assist, while Nicklas Backstrom added a goal and two assists for the Capitals. Philipp Grubauer stopped 36 shots in his first game of the season.
"The good and bad is, I thought we could have left here with two points and are leaving here with one," Washington coach Barry Trotz said.
Kucherov tied it at 3 on an in-close backhander at 10:46 of the third.
Ovechkin had three goals in the third period in Thursday's opening night win at Ottawa, then matched the feat while helping chase Montreal goalie Carey Price in the first period Saturday. He added his fourth goal in the second period against Al Montoya.
Ovechkin, bidding to become the first NHL player to have a hat trick in three consecutive games, had a power-play scoring chance from the left circle in the second turned aside by Vasilevskiy. He finished with four shots and was a minus-2
Backstrom and Oshie, on a power play deflection from the slot, scored 1:23 apart late in the first as Washington took a 2-0 lead.
After Killorn and Oshie, with the man advantage, traded goals early in the second, Kunitz's redirection cut the deficit to 3-2 with 1:51 left in the period.
"A good building block for our team," Kunitz said.
Grubauer made several strong saves, including Steven Stamkos' left circle drive, during an early third period power play.
Vasilevskiy stopped a first-period breakaway by Evgeny Kuznetsov, who got his eighth assist on Oshie's second goal.
"We had a couple chances to make it 4-1 and we didn't," Trotz said. "They just chipped away."
NOTES: It was just Tampa Bay's second win in the last nine games against Washington. ... Oshie has 12 goals and 22 points in 15 games against Tampa Bay. ... Backstrom's goal was his 189th goal with the Capitals and moved him past Bob Carpenter into eighth place on the franchise career list. ... Tampa Bay sent F Michael Bournival to Syracuse of the AHL.
UP NEXT
Capitals: Return home to face two-time Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Wednesday night.
Lightning: Host Pittsburgh Thursday night.

Matthews scores in OT, Maple Leafs rally to beat Blackhawks

Auston Matthews had his own goalie taking pity on their opponent after his latest timely goal.
Matthews beat Anton Forsberg 3:43 into overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 comeback win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
The 20-year-old Matthews had very little space to work with but ripped a wrist shot over Forsberg's glove for his second goal of the season.
"I think that puck's still sitting back up there," said Toronto netminder Fredrik Andersen. "Not a lot of guys can stop that puck in this league. Hell of a goal."
Matthews's goal came on a 2-on-1 and capped three in a row to erase Chicago's 3-1 lead.
"I just walked in and tried to fake a pass, get (Forsberg) leaning a bit and snuck it by him," Matthews said.
"I thought we showed a lot of poise being able to crawl back into it," he added. "As the game went on we got better and better and that's the way you want to play."
Matthews played much of the night matched up against Chicago's top line with Patrick Kane. Matthews finished with six shots on net and the winning goal while Kane, who entered with 22 points in 13 career games against Toronto, finished minus-three with one shot and no points.
"Auston was determined, he was playing head to head against Kane all night, did a real nice job," said Leafs coach Mike Babcock.
Nikita ZaitsevConnor Brown and James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won their first three games.
Jan Rutta, Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik had goals for the Blackhawks.
Andersen made 18 saves for the win while Forsberg stopped 39 shots.
Outside of the opening three minutes, the first period belonged to the Blackhawks, and they went into the intermission up 2-0.
Rutta scored 3:46 into the game when he wheeled around the back of the net and tossed the puck out front, where it hit Toronto center Mitch Marner's stick and squeaked through Andersen and the post.
Eric Fehr had a great chance to tie it three minutes later, but was turned away by Forsberg, and Chicago went down the ice and doubled its advantage.
Toews made it 2-0 when he banged in a rebound over the left pad of Andersen with 12:53 to play in the first.
It could have been a three-goal edge for Chicago if Andersen didn't turn away Patrick Sharp on a breakaway late in the first.
It wasn't until the midway point of the second that Toronto picked up its pace and was awarded its first power-play opportunity after some sustained pressure by Matthews in the offensive zone.
The Leafs failed to capitalize on the man advantage, but Zaitsev put them on the board soon after, streaking in from the Blackhawks blue line and taking a pass from Brown before snapping the puck five-hole on Forsberg at 10:20.
Matthews nearly tied the game on a 2-on-1 rush five minutes later with a toe-drag into a wrist shot, but Forsberg stayed with him and got his right arm on the puck.
The final eight minutes of the second were filled with minor penalties and lots of 4-on-4 hockey, but no one was able to take advantage of the open ice.
Matthews had another good scoring chance before the period was through, but Forsberg was there again to stop him.
Toronto was behind 2-1 after 40 minutes despite outshooting Chicago 26-15.
"We lost a lot of momentum there, fortunate to come out of (the second) with the lead," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.
"Second period they had 10 scoring chances so (Forsberg) did a good job keeping the lead for us."
Zach Hyman created a scoring chance for himself early in the third only to be turned aside by Forsberg.
Forsberg's play allowed the Blackhawks to restore their two-goal lead 7:52 into the third.
Panik took the puck off the end boards after it ricocheted in front from a point shot and slotted it into an empty net on the power play.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock started shuffling his lines late in the third and it paid off with two goals in less than three minutes.
First, Brown beat Forsberg with Leo Komarov setting the screen in front with seven minutes to go in regulation.
Then, van Riemsdyk tied the game on the power play, deflecting a Tyler Bozak shot past Forsberg with 4:18 remaining.
NOTES: Both clubs entered the night with a league-high 15 goals for in their first two games. ... Leafs defenseman Connor Carrick was replaced in the lineup by Andreas Borgman.
UP NEXT
Blackhawks: Play at Montreal on Tuesday night.
Maple Leafs: Host New Jersey on Wednesday night.

Devils pound Sabres 6-2

An influx of offensive-minded rookies has the New Jersey Devils off to a 2-0 start.
Jesper Bratt had two goals and an assist in his second NHL game and the Devils earned a 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday.
Marcus Johansson also had two goals and an assist, Brian Gibbons added a goal and an assist, Taylor Hall had two assists, Stefan Noesen scored and No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier recorded his first NHL point for the Devils.
The 19-year-old Bratt, drafted by the Devils in the sixth round in 2016, has five points in his first two games.
"He's a really good hockey player already," said Johansson, who like Bratt, was born in Sweden. "He's so young, he just got over here, and it's fun to watch."
It was the second straight game the Devils got three points from a rookie. Hobey Baker Award winner Will Butcher became the first Devils player to accomplish the feat in his NHL debut during New Jersey's 4-1 win over Colorado in the season opener.
The excitement New Jersey's rookies have brought to the ice is infectious, coach John Hynes said.
"To get good in the league, you have to draft well and develop well," Hynes said. "The fact we have some younger guys coming into our lineup that can play the way that we want to play and having major impacts on the game, I think brings energy to everyone."
Evander Kane scored twice for the winless Sabres, who were booed off the ice after all three periods. Chad Johnson stopped 16 of 22 shots before being replaced by Robin Lehner (nine saves) in the third period.
"Obviously, not the way we wanted to start the season," Kane said. "We have to have a harder mentality in terms of how we want to play, our compete level needs to be harder. The fortunate thing is, we're only three games into the season."
Cory Schneider made 23 saves for New Jersey.
The Devils took a 1-0 lead 6:28 into the game when Gibbons flipped the puck from the side of the net and it bounced off Noesen's facemask and past Johnson.
Hischier notched his first assist on Gibbons' goal that made it 2-0 with 1:04 left in the first period. Hischier carried the puck behind the net, maneuvered away from Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella and fed Gibbons for a one-timer from the slot.
Kane put Buffalo on the board on a power play 5:02 into the second period. Kane got a partial breakaway after poking the puck past New Jersey's Steven Santini and slid a shot around Schneider.
The Devils took 21 seconds to answer with Bratt's short-handed goal on a 2-on-1 with Adam Henrique and Taylor Hall set up Johansson's first goal to extend the Devils' lead to 4-1 less than eight minutes into the second period.
Bratt redirected Hall's slap shot for his second goal midway through the second and set up Johansson on a 2-on-1 that made it 6-1 with 1:04 left in the period.
Kane scored his fourth of the season on a wraparound with 2:57 left.
NOTES: New Jersey played with 11 forwards and seven defenseman because of lower-body injuries sustained by RW Kyle Palmieri and former Sabre RW Drew Stafford in the opener. ... Johnson made his first start in goal after replacing Lehner during the second period of the Sabres' 6-3 loss to the Islanders on Saturday night. Johnson played 45 games for Buffalo in 2015-16 and spent last season in Calgary. ... The Sabres have allowed four short-handed goals in three games, the same number they allowed all last season. ... Sabres RW Kyle Okposo wore a jersey with his name misspelled "OKOPOSO" for the first period. ... New Jersey started 3-0 in 2014-15.
UP NEXT
New Jersey: At Toronto on Wednesday
Buffalo: At San Jose on Thursday

Blues down Islanders 3-2 in shootout

The St. Louis Blues are off to a fast start and they have goaltender Jake Allen and top scorer Vladimir Tarasenko to thank for that early success.
Allen made 40 saves on Monday and Tarasenko scored twice and again in the shootout to lift the Blues past the Islanders 3-2 for their third straight victory to start the season.
Brayden Schenn also scored in the shootout as the Blues managed to win after the Islanders tied it with two third-period goals.
"We have to find ways to keep those leads, but we got the win. It's a big two points for us," Allen said. "They pressed hard, they have a good offensive team. They have four lines that are skilled."
Andrew Ladd and Anders Lee had scored for the Islanders in the third to send the game into overtime, Lee's goal coming at the 19-minute mark.
"We know we have to be better. We want to get two points every night," said Lee, who scored his first goal of the season after leading the Islanders with 34 goals last season. "I thought we played a decent game. We were able to battle back and get a point."
Tarasenko's pair of goals came in the second period for the Blues, who were seemingly in control until Ladd scored for the home team at 13:04 of the third period to ruin Allen's shutout bid. Tarasenko said he was happy to contribute multiple times during the game.
"I try to get open and create space," said the 25-year-old Russian forward, who has three goals this season. "It's really good that we got a win."
Allen denied Jordan Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier in the shootout to preserve the win after he made three saves in overtime.
"He was awesome. He really looks like he's in form," Blues coach Mike Yeo said of his goaltender. "His last two starts have been outstanding."
Tarasenko opened the scoring at 9:38 of the middle period after he spun past Eberle, then beat Thomas Greisswith a nifty backhand. Paul Stastny assisted.
Tarasenko increased the lead with a power-play goal at 15:34 of the second. The talented Russian forward whipped the puck past Greiss, finishing a passing play from Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo for his third goal of the season. He led the Blues with 39 goals and 75 points overall last season.
"He's so powerful," Yeo said. "All three of his goals were impressive, shootout included."
St. Louis, which began with an opening-night overtime victory in Pittsburgh followed by a 4-2 home win over Dallas, improved to 7-1-2 in its past 10 games against the Islanders.
Allen, who had a career-best 33 wins last season, has won all three of his starts this season.
The Islanders have lost two of their first three though coach Doug Weight still saw reasons for optimism despite the loss to the Blues.
"They play a face-paced game and Allen played really well," he said. "We had some good looks. I gave Jake credit and we'll take the point."
Following the game, the Islanders departed for a three-game Western trip starting at Anaheim on Wednesday. They also will travel to San Jose and Los Angeles after which they return to play the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 19.
Tarasenko's first goal of the game came shortly after the Islanders squandered a four-minute power-play opportunity earlier, more than a minute of which had them up two skaters.
In the second, Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo was penalized four minutes for cross checking, an extra two minutes being assessed for pummeling Islanders forward Brock Nelson face down on the ice.
Bortuzzo was fined $3,091.40 for the cross-check, the NHL announced after the game.
After Josh Ho-Sang was denied on a right pad save by Allen, Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson was assessed a slashing penalty, giving the Islanders a two-man advantage. But they failed to capitalize and were 0 for 6 overall on the power play.
"The power play is a bit overwhelmed," Weight added. "It's a big point, good fight back we had."
Greiss was victimized for five goals in the Islanders' season-opening 5-0 loss at Columbus before he was replaced midway through by Jaroslav Halak, who earned the victory in the team's 6-3 home-opening win over the Buffalo Sabres.
NOTES: The Islanders visit the Blues on Nov. 11 to complete the season series . The Blues continued to be without injured forward Alex Steen and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. ... Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuckmissed his second straight game with a hip injury. ... Defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Ryan Pulock were scratched by the Islanders.
UP NEXT
Blues: At New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
Islanders: At Anaheim on Wednesday night.

Varlamov stops 29 shots; Avs beat B's again in Boston, 4-0

The Colorado Avalanche are heading into their home opener feeling pretty good.
Another win in Boston certainly helped.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 29 shots, Nail Yakupov scored two goals and the Colorado Avalanche continued their recent success in Boston with a 4-0 win over the Bruins on Monday.
Sven Andrighetto and J.T. Compher scored first-period goals for the Avalanche, who improved to 11-0-0-1 in their past 12 games in Boston since the most recent loss on March 30, 1998.
Colorado completed its season-opening three-game road trip at 2-1. Boston split its first two games - both at home.
"I think we're fortunate to be 2-1," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "Our best game of the road trip was certainly our third. To be 2-1 in a tough building here in Boston, against a good team to get a good solid win, this is a little bit of a sign of maturity."
Varlamov is also off to a good start after missing the final 40 games last season following hip surgery.
"It gives you confidence and brings confidence to the team," he said.
Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for the Bruins.
Boston coach Bruce Cassidy saw some mistakes from his young players that led to an early 2-0 hole, but he was most disappointed with the overall effort.
"The core group that we rely on - it just wasn't a good effort," he said. "I put myself in that category.
"We're supposed to be ready to play at home, especially after having a couple of days off. That was the biggest disappointment to me. Things aren't going to go your way some nights. To not have the energy to sustain it get yourself back in the game is disappointing."
The Avalanche grabbed a 1-0 lead when Andrighetto's shot from the slot slipped into the net off Rask's glove 4:41 into the opening period.
Compher completed a 2-on-1 break with former Bruin Carl Soderberg by firing a wrister over Rask's left shoulder to make it 2-0 midway into the period with a short-handed goal.
Yakupov scored when Rask came out to chase a loose puck along the boards 6:07 into the third. And Yakupov added his second goal of the game with 44 seconds left in the third.
Cassidy even changed up the lines after the Bruins' lackluster start.
"I think it took us seven minutes to get our first shot on net," Boston forward Ryan Spooner said. "I think he kind of thought the lines weren't working so he just switched them up."
A "Let's Go Red Sox!" chant broke out late in the game at TD Garden - a little before the Red Sox took the lead on Andrew Benintendi's two-run homer in the fifth inning.
Public transportation heading into Boston was filled with fans wearing both Bruins and Red Sox jerseys with the two teams starting at nearly the same time. The Red Sox played Game 4 of the ALDS against Houston about 3 miles away at Fenway Park.
The Bruins' best chance of the first two periods came when David Pastrnak came charging in along the left wing, cut in front and attempted to tuck the puck behind Varlamov, but he held his left pad along the ice next to the right post.
NOTES: Bruins D Torey Krug and C Austin Czarnik were both removed from injured reserved before the game and played. Boston's forwards Noel Acciari (surgery left index finger) and David Backes (diverticulitis) were both placed on IR before the game. ... It was the fourth time in eight seasons that Colorado played in Boston on Columbus Day. ... Bruins C Patrice Bergeron played his 900th NHL game.
UP NEXT
The teams face each other again in Colorado on Wednesday night.